G20 ministers discuss Venezuelan elections, tariffs, and food at 2018 meeting

World Today

‘No’ to protectionism: that’s the word from the G-20 ministers in Argentina. Foreign Ministers and Central Bank Governors on Monday rejected U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

They also condemned the presidential election in Venezuela.

But, CGTN’s Joel Richards reports that the group is also discussing a challenge that affects  everyone: food.

Among the topics to be discussed: employment, infrastructure and sustainable food.

Argentina produces enough food for an estimated 400 million people, according to the country’s foreign minister, who said it aims to increase that amount by 50% in the coming years.

Argentina is the world’s third largest soybean producer. But a prolonged drought, followed by heavy rains, has affected the harvest.

Yet some sectors, including fruit, are expanding. Last year, Argentina reached an agreement with China to export blueberries.

The company, Extraberries, has been around for two decades. Sales manager Matias Notti said Argentina needs to improve infrastructure to meet a growing global demand.

“Technology and robotics have allowed us to dominate our market, by allowing us to exercise much greater control over our products,” he said.  “We can reject goods the market doesn’t want. But it’s important to have investment plans for the short, medium and long term, in addition to government support. When we do, technology helps ensure that we have a healthy product.”

This week’s meeting of the G-20 foreign ministers is a chance for nations to discuss and work toward multilateral agreements on these issues.

As hosts of the G-20 Leaders’ Summit scheduled later this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina has outlined three priorities: food security, infrastructure and jobs. But when the foreign ministers gathered on Monday, regional politics dominated the headlines. Six nations at the ministerial meeting rejected the presidential election results in Venezuela.

Leaders from the G-20 countries and invited nations will meet in Argentina in late November.